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into His hands not only ourselves but quiet endurance; or an unseen hand, by our all. And surely if there be such a some strange and sudden sweep of desthing as angelic ministry, much of it tiny, clears the dark and thorny pathmust needs be spent not only on suffer- way, and makes everything easy and ers, but on those whose lot it is to stand peaceful and plain. by and see others suffer, generally hav- But this does not always happen. ing all the time to wear a countenance There are hundreds of silent martyrs in cheerful, hopeful, or calmly indifferent, whom a keen observer can see the shirt which in its piteous hypocrisy dare give of horse-hair or the belt of steel points no sign of the devouring anxiety that under the finest and most elegantly-worn preys on the loving heart below. clothes; and for whom, to the short
Mention has been made of those seeing human eye, there appears no griefs, wholly secret and silent, which possible release but death.
The only are never guessed by even closest friends ; consolation for such is the lesson,-subthe sacred self-control of which makes lime enough to lighten a little even the them easier to bear than many a lesser worst torment,—taughtand learnt by that anguish. In contrast to these may be majestic life-long endurance which has placed the griefs that everybody knows for its sustenance strength celestial that and nobody speaks of, -such as domes- we know not of, and for which in the tic unhappiness, disappointed love, cark- end await the martyr's bliss and the ing worldly cares, half-guessed unkind- martyr's crown. nesses, dimly suspected wrongs; mi- These “ few words” are said. They series which the sufferer refuses to may have been said, and better said, a acknowledge, but suffers on in a proud hundred times before. There is hardly or heroic silence that precludes all others any deep-thinking or deep-feeling human from offering either aid or sympathy, being who has not said them to himself even if either were possible, which fre- over and over again ; yet sometimes a quently it is not. In many of the con- truth strikes truer and clearer when we junctures, crises, and involvements of hear it repeated by another, instead of human life, the only safe, or kind, or only listening to its dim echoes in our wise course is this solemn though heart- own often bewildered mind. To all who. broken silence, under the shadow of understand the meaning of the word which it nevertheless often happens that sorrow, we commend these disjointed wrongs slowly work themselves right; thoughts to be thought out by thempains lessen, at all events, to the level of selves at leisure. And so farewell.
head as to what he could do to set
matters right. The conviction in which SECOND YEAR.
he always landed was that there was For some days after his return home nothing to be done, and that he was a -in fact, until his friend's arrival, Tom desolate and blighted being, deserted of was thoroughly beaten down and wretched, gods and men. Hardy's presence and notwithstanding his efforts to look hope- company soon shook him out of this fully forward, and keep up his spirits. maudlin nightmare state, and he began His usual occupations were utterly dis- to recover as soon as he had his old tasteful to him; and, instead of occupy- sheet-anchor friend to hold on to and ing himself, he sat brooding over his late consult with. Their consultations were misfortune, and hopelessly puzzling his held chiefly in the intervals of woodcraft, in which they spent most of the conservatories, and pianofortes-a milhours between breakfast and dinner. lennium on a small scale, with universal Hardy did not take out a certificate, and education, competence, prosperity, and wouldn't shoot without one ; so, as the equal rights ! Such castle-building, as best autumn exercise, they selected a an accompaniment to the hard exercise tough old pollard elm, infinitely ugly, of woodcraft, worked wonders for Tom with knotted and twisted roots, curiously in the next week, and may be safely difficult to get at and cut through, which recommended to parties in like evil case had been long marked as a blot by Mr. with him. Brown, and condemned to be felled as But more practical discussions were soon as there was nothing more pressing not neglected, and it was agreed that for his men to do. But there was always they should make a day at Englebourn something of more importance ; so that together before their return to Oxford, the cross-grained old tree might have Hardy undertaking to invade the remained until this day, had not Hardy rectory with the view of re-establishing and Tom pitched on him as a foeman his friend's character there. worthy of their axes. They shovelled, Tom wrote a letter to Katie to prepare and picked, and hewed away with great her for a visit. The day after the energy. The woodman who visited them ancient elm was fairly disposed of they occasionally, and who, on examining their started early for Englebourn, and first efforts, had remarked that the separated at the entrance to the village severed roots looked a little “as tho' the -Hardy proceeding to the rectory to dogs had been a gnawin' at 'em,” began fulfil his mission, which he felt to be to hold them in respect, and to tender rather an embarrassing one, and Tom to his advice with some deference. By the look after the constable, or whoever time the tree was felled and shrouded, else could give him information about Tom was in a convalescent state.
Harry. Their occupation had naturally led to He arrived at the Red Lion, their discussions on the advantages of emi- appointed trysting place, before Hardy, gration, the delights of clearing one's and spent a restless half-hour in the own estate, building one's own house, porch and bar waiting for his return. and getting away from conventional life At last Hardy came, and Tom hurried with a few tried friends. Of course him into the inn's best room, where the pictures which were painted bread and cheese and ale awaited them, included foregrounds with beautiful and, as soon as the hostess could be got children playing about the clearing, and out of the room, began impatientlygraceful women, wives of the happy “Well; you have seen her?” squatters, flitting in and out of the log- Yes, I have come straight here from houses and sheds, clothed and occupied
the rectory." after the manner of our ideal grand- “ And is it all right, eh? Had she mothers ; with the health and strength got my letter ?”. of Amazons, the refinement of high-bred “Yes, she had had your letter.” ladies, and wondrous skill in all domes- And
think she is satisfied ?" tic works, confections, and contrivances. “Satisfied ? No, you can't expect her The log-houses would also contain to be satisfied.” fascinating select libraries, continually “I mean, is she satisfied that it isn't reinforced from home, sufficient to keep so bad after all as it looked the other all dwellers in the happy clearing in day? What does Katie think of me?” communion with all the highest minds “I think she is still very fond of of their own and former generations. you, but that she has been puzzled and Wondrous games in the neighbouring outraged by this discovery, and cannot forest, dear old home customs estab- get over it all at once.” lished and taking root in the wilderness, “Why didn't you tell her the whole with ultimate dainty flower gardens, story from beginning to end?'
“I tried to do so as well as I could.” dear fellow, there is nothing for it but
Oh, but I can see you haven't done time.” it. She doesn't really understand how Well, I suppose not,” said Tom, with it is."
“ Do you think I should call "Perhaps not; but you must remem- and see Katie ?” ber it is an awkward subject to be talk
I think better not." ing about to a young woman. I would “Well, then, we may as well get sooner stand another fellowship exami- back," said Tom, who was not sorry for nation than go through it again." his friend's decision. So they paid their
“Thank you, old fellow," said Tom, bill and started for home, taking Hawk's laying his hand on Hardy's shoulder; Lynch on the way, that Hardy might see “ I feel that I'm unreasonable and impa- the view. tient; but you can excuse it; you know “ And what did you find out about that I don't mean it."
young Winburn?” he said, as they “Don't say another word ; I only passed down the street. wish I could have done more for you.” “Oh, no good,” said Tom ; "he was
“But what do you suppose Katie turned out, as I thought, and has gone thinks of me?"
to live with an old woman up on the “Why, you see, it sunis itself up in heath here, who is no better than she this: she sees that you have been should be; and none of the farmers will making serious love to Patty, and have employ him.” turned the poor girl's head, more or
á You didn't see him, I suppose ?” less, and that now you are in love with “No; he is away with some of the somebody else. Why, put it how we heath people, hawking besoms and chairs will, we can't get out of that. There about the country. They make them are the facts, pure and simple, and she when there is no harvest work, and loaf wouldn't be half a woman if she didn't about into Oxfordshire and Buckinghamresent it."
shire, and other counties, selling them." “ But it's hard lines, too, isn't it, old “ No good will come of that sort of fellow ? No, I won't say that; I deserve life, I'm afraid.” it all, and much worse. But
think “No ; but what is he to do ?” I may come round all right ?"
“I called at the lodge as I came “Yes, all in good time. I hope away, and saw Patty and her mother. there's no danger in any other quarter?" It's all right in that quarter. The old
“Goodness knows! There's the rub, woman doesn't seem to think anything you see. She will go back to town dis- of it; and Patty is a good girl, and will gusted with me; I shan't see her again, make Harry Winburn, or anybody else, and she won't hear of me for I don't a capital wife. Here's your locket and know how long; and she will be meet- the letters; so now that's all over.” ing heaps of men. Has Katie been “Did she seem to mind giving them over to Barton ?"
“Yes ; she was there last week, just “Not very much. No, you are lucky before they left.”
there. She will get over it." "Well, what happened ?"
“But you told her that I am her "She wouldn't say much ; but I friend for life, and that she is to let me gathered that they are very well.” know if I can ever do anything for her ?”
“Oh, yes, bother it, of course, they “Yes ; and now I hope this is the are very well. But didn't she talk to last job of the kind I shall ever have to Katie about what happened last week ?”
do for you." “Of course she did. What else should “But what bad luck it has been! If they talk about ?”
I had only seen her before, or known “But you don't know what they said ?” who she was, nothing of all this would “No; but you may depend on it that have happened.” Miss Winter will be your friend. My To which Hardy made no reply; and
the subject was not alluded to again in happened to him, and how he was getting their walk home.
He did not allude to what had A day or two afterwards they returned lately happened, for he did not know to Oxford-Hardy to begin his work as whether the facts had become known, fellow and assistant-tutor of the Col- and was in no hurry to open the subject lege, and Tom to see whether he could himself. not make a better hand of his second Having finished his letter, he turned year than he had of his first. He be- again to his meditations over the fire, gan with a much better chance of doing and, considering that he had some little so, for he was thoroughly humbled. right to reward resolution, took off the The discovery that he was not altogether safety valve, and allowed the thoughts such a hero as he had fancied himself, to bubble up freely which were always had dawned upon him very distinctly by underlying all others that passed through the end of his first year, and the events his brain, and making constant low, deof the long vacation had confirmed the licious, but just now somewhat melanimpression, and pretty well taken all choly, music in his head and heart. He the conceit out of him for the time. gave himself up to thinking of Mary, The impotency of his own will, even and their walk in the wood, and the when he was bent on doing the right sprained ancle, and all the sayings and thing, his want of insight and foresight doings of that eventful autumn day. in whatever matter he took in hand, the And then he opened his desk and exunruliness of his tempers and passions amined certain treasures therein conjust at the moments when it behoved him cealed, including a withered rosebud, a to have them most thoroughly in hand and sprig of heather, a cut boot-lace, and a under control, were a set of disagreeable scrap or two of writing. Having gone facts which had been driven well home through some extravagant forms of worto him. The results, being even such ship, not necessary to be specified, he as we have seen, he did not much repine
Would it ever all come at, for he felt he had deserved them; right? and there was a sort of grim satisfaction, He made his solitary tea, and sat down dreary as the prospect was, in facing again to consider the point. But the them, and taking his punishment like a point would not be considered alone.
This was what he had felt at the He began to feel more strongly what he first blush on the Hawk's Lynch ; and, had had several hints of already, that as he thought over matters again by there was a curiously close connexion his fire, with his oak sported, on the between his own love story and that of first evening of term, he was still in the Harry Winburn and Patty—that he same mind. This was clearly what he couldn't separate them, even in his had to do now. How to do it was the thoughts. Old Simon's tumble, which only question.
had recalled his daughter from Oxford At first he was inclined to try to set him- at so critical a moment for him; Mary's self right with the Porters and the Engle- visit to Englebourn at this very time; bourn circle, by writing further explana- the curious yet natural series of little tions and confessions to Katie. But, on accidents which had kept him in ignotrying his hand at a letter, he found that
rance of Patty's identity until the final he could not trust himself. The tempta- catastrophe—then again, the way in tion of putting everything in the best which Harry Winburn and his mother point of view for himself was too great ; had come across him on the very day of so he gave up the attempt, and merely his leaving Barton; the fellowship of a wrote a few lines to David, to remind common mourning which had seemed to him that he was always ready and bind them together so closely, and this last anxious to do all he could for his friend, discovery which he could not help fearHarry Winburn, and to beg that he ing must turn Harry into a bitter enemy, might have news of anything which when he heard the truth, as he must,
sooner or later,—as all these things to them, that he was getting out of his passed before him, he gave in to a sort depth, and that the whole business was of superstitious feeling that his own fate in a muddle, he had recourse to his old hung in some way or another upon that method when in difficulties, and, putting of Harry Winburn. If he helped on on his cap, started off to Hardy's rooms his suit, he was helping on his own; to talk the matter over, and see whether but whether he helped on his own or he could not get some light on it from not, was, after all, not that which was that quarter. uppermost in his thoughts. He was He returned in an hour or so, somemuch changed in this respect since he what less troubled in his mind, inasmuch last sat in those rooms, just after his as he had found his friend in pretty much first days with her. Since then an the same state as himself. But one step angel had met him, and had “ touched he had gained. Under his arm he carthe chord of self, which, trembling," was ried certain books from Hardy's scanty passing "in music out of sight.”
library, the perusal of which he hoped, The thought of Harry and his trials at least, might enable him sooner or enabled him to indulge in some good later to feel that he had got on to some honest indignation, for which there was sort of firm ground. At any rate, Hardy no room in his own case. That the had advised him to read them ; so, withprospects in life of such a man should out more ado, he drew his chair to the be in the power, to a great extent, of table and began to look into them. such people as Squire Wurley and farmer This glimpse of the manner in which Tester ; that, because he happened to Tom spent the first evening of his be poor, he should be turned out of the second year at Oxford, will enable incottage where his family had lived for telligent readers to understand why, a hundred years, at a week's notice, though he took to reading far more through the caprice of a drunken gam kindly and earnestly than he had ever bler; that, because he had stood up for done before, he made no great advance his rights, and had thereby offended the in the proper studies of the place. Not worst farmer in the parish, he should be that he wholly neglected these, for Hardy a marked man, and unable to get work kept him pretty well up to the collar, and these things appeared so monstrous to he passed his little-go creditably, and him, and made him so angry, that he was fairly placed at the college examinawas obliged to get up and stamp about tions. In some of the books which he the room. And from the particular case had to get up for lectures he was really he very soon got to generalizations. interested. The politics of Athens, the
Questions which had before now struggle between the Roman plebs and puzzled him gained a new significance patricians, Mons Sacer and the Agrarian every minute, and became real to him. Laws—these began to have a new meanWhy a few men should be rich, and all ing to him, but chiefly because they bore the rest poor ; above all, why he should more or less on the great Harry Winbe one of the few? Why the mere burn problem ; which problem, indeed, possession of property should give a man for him had now fairly swelled into the power over all his neighbours? Why condition-of-England problem, and was poor men who were ready and willing becoming every day more and more to work should only be allowed to work urgent and importunate, shaking many as a sort of favour, and should after all old beliefs, and leading him whither he get the merest tithe of what their labour knew not. produced, and be tossed aside as soon as This very matter of leading was a sore their work was done, or no longer re trial to him. The further he got on his quired? These, and other such problems, new road the more he felt the want of rose up before him, crude and sharp, guidance—the guidance of some man; asking to be solved. Feeling himself for that of books he soon found to be